Leon (Lee) Rand, 92, former Chancellor of Indiana University, Southeast, passed away peacefully on February 19, 2023, surrounded by family, and loved ones.
Lee was preceded in death by his devoted and loving wife of 54 years, Marian Newton Rand who passed in 2012. Together, the couple raised three children, Debra Rand Perelman (Jeff), Paul Martin Rand (Diane) and Marta Rand Hexamer (Jay). Together, the family strove to live a life of love, respect, kindness, and an intact sense of humor. Those qualities continued throughout Lee’s life, where he always had a kind word, and often a teasing pun, to put a smile on all faces.
In addition to his children and their spouses, Lee leaves behind eight grandchildren: Julia Perelman, Jessica Perelman, Jackie Perelman; Elena Rodriguez Rand, Trevor Rodriguez Rand, Mason Rodriguez Rand, Ben Hexamer, and Eleanor Hexamer.
Lee was born on October 8, 1930, in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Max B. and Ricka (Muscanto) Rakisky, growing up with his sister the late Sara Rand Freedland and brother, the late Burton Rand. Nieces and nephews include Jeannie Freedland LaBossiere, Ruth Freedland, Mark Freedland, Michael Rand, and David Rand.
Lee was appointed chancellor of Indiana University Southeast in 1985 and successfully served during a time of notable campus and academic growth. He was named professor and chancellor emeritus upon his retirement in 1996.
Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Northeastern University, M.A., and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin before completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the department of chemistry at Purdue University. Following his fellowship, Lee served as a professor at the University of Detroit. He later moved to Youngstown State University where he was professor of chemistry, chairman of the Department of Chemistry, dean of graduate studies and research and acting academic vice president. He then accepted a position as the vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
During his professional career, Lee received many awards and recognitions, including the Outstanding Alumni Award from Northeastern University, Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana Senate Certificate of Achievement and Kentucky Colonel from the governor of Kentucky. Even in retirement, Lee remained active at Indiana University, and in the community, serving as special assistant to the chancellor of IUPUI, board member of the Senior Academy at IUPUI and a docent for the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Newfields).
Nearly 10 years ago, Lee moved to the Marquette Senior Living Community in Indianapolis and found an engaging and loving community. There he met Phyllis Jean Schwartz, who was a loving partner until her death in September 2022, and was embraced by Phyllis’s extended family, including Dee Dee and Alvin Katzman, Wendy Schwartz and Lynn Quenemoen and their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Lee will be remembered for his devotion to his family and friends, spending one-on-one time with each of his grandchildren, his easy smile, never-ending love of classical music, bearhugs, seemingly limitless kindness and total appreciation of the power of a good and well-timed joke.
A memorial service for Leon Rand will be held at All Souls Unitarian Church this Saturday, February 25, at 11:00 a.m. ET. All Souls is located at 5805 East 56h Street, Indianapolis, IN 46226. Donations can be made to the Indianapolis Symphony and the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Newfields).